In which I talk about merchandise for a recent “mature” anime with both some of the most immature butt jokes and some of the most mature depictions of love, hope and, uh, Amazon I’ve ever seen. (Beware of spoilers)
2019 wasn’t a great year for me, and it wasn’t for pretty much anyone else I know either. Maybe because so many people around me were going through hard times, I found myself for once realizing how important connections between people are. And for some reason as I was letting my guard down I ran across this piece talking about Sarazanmai, and I decided to take a look at it.
I’ve always been taken by Japanese folk creatures like youkai, and I used to be quite a fan of Saiyuuki back in the day, so I was kind of intrigued by the thought of a series with kappa that not only didn’t shy away from their, uh, weirder features, but actively embraced them.
(And now I’m sitting here realizing that my last post ended with a picture of a dog butt, and now I’m waxing philosophic about an anime that both totally is and totally isn’t about butts, and none of this is going to boost my readers, but oh well.)
Anyway, I love pretty much every character in this series — except for Tooi’s brother, the selfish bastard — but I especially love these two, Reo and Mabu. They are awesome, and I am not going to talk a lot about it, but their merchandise below might be inherently spoilery.
First up I’ve got some plush of Reo and Mabu in kappa pajamas. They are notably soft. Really, these are some very nice quality plush. I can’t imagine someone who doesn’t know of the anime coming across these with only “butt” on the front of the tag, but it makes sense in context, and these are super soft.
Also, they’re weirdly strippable, in case you’re into that sort of thing. But I do like these very much. They measure about 6.3 inches long — and it’s their length that makes them pretty hard to display — but other than that, these are adorable.
I almost missed out on this little box of ramune candy, which would have been a shame since I love GraffArt and the candy was weirdly, exceptionally good. It’s just a box about 4.3 inches tall, plain on the inside, but it was something like seven dollars and it’s Hina Matsuri themed, and I love that.
Sanrio did a limited-time Animate shop with this series (it’s not this cafe, but for some reason that’s the only link I can find), which is honestly not something I would have expected at all a couple of decades ago, but is very cool. Oh, I guess this is the spoilery part — Reo and Mabu are kappa, not otters as they initially seem, and here they are gifting apple pie to each other.
I have to say I wasn’t entirely convinced this one had sufficient value for the money. Part of it was dissatisfaction with the seller (it was one of two orders that made me swear off Aitai Kuji in November 2019 after watching things I’d preordered go on sale on site for immediate shipment and then waiting three weeks to have my inquiry about shipping answered) and the price, which was in the $20 range. I mean, it’s a mirror that measures about about 4.5 inches tall. It’s darling, and such is the pricing for limited merchandise, but it’s plain on the inside and wasn’t exactly a wonderful buy.
I have more for this series, but I’ll leave them for another entry. If you like odd, offbeat series, and maybe also if you’re tired of all the love stories being about high schoolers, consider trying out Sarazanmai. It’s as hard to define as its name but wonderful nonetheless.
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